Freelancing online with Upwork
So, you’ve decided which digital nomad job is right for you – now what? Where are you going to find those clients that will fund your life of travel? Well, the good news is you have plenty of choice! Here’s a brief summary of my experience freelancing with Upwork.com – a major freelancing website, popular all over the world with both freelancers and clients.
Upwork has a bit of a reputation for bottom feeding freelancers willing to work for very little – and for clients looking for the above. However, I don’t think this is entirely fair – sure, there are way too many clients posting absurdly low-paid jobs, but you can just ignore those posts!
There are still tons of well paid jobs available and once you have some decent feedback on your profile, you’ll get plenty of offers. I’ve been using this site for over a year and without doing anything by way of promotion, I get at least one job offer a week through the website. (I’m an illustrator/graphic designer) Some of my initial clients have gone on to become long-term working partnerships – a big part of the reason I’m now able to travel wherever I please!
You can also bid on jobs that take your fancy – but make sure you quote what you’re worth. There will always be someone willing to work for less than you, but in my experience clients will go for quality if you can show that you’re worth the extra expense. Once you’ve signed up, you have the option of taking tests to prove your skills, and uploading information to your profile.
It doesn’t cost anything to sign up, but you will pay a small percentage of your earnings to the site. Upwork has an hourly time tracker which will guarantee your payment, but personally I prefer to work on fixed price projects – but always make sure to get some money up front to prove that the client is serious. (The only exception I’d make is if you are brand new to the site and need to build your feedback – some clients might not want to take the risk of paying upfront if you have no oDesk experience)
And the verdict? I say go for it! Although it can take a while to get those first couple of jobs, if you persevere (and ignore the stupidly low paying clients) it’s one of the better freelancing sites out there.